Monday, October 25, 2010

Whys and Whats

It's been pretty busy at my house with my boss taking a 6 week respite, a building remodel, our third child being  born, and that is all in the midst of our usual business. Some say there isn't an difference between an excuse and a reason but having another newborn I disagree.

I've been reading some pretty challenging books including: "A Year of Living Like Jesus" by Ed Dobson and "A New Kind of Christianity" by Brian McLaren. Mark Driscoll recently tweeted that if your reading list was from a single publisher or group of authors of similar theological background you probably weren't very well rounded. It's like only having friends that you agree with on politics and religion; comfortable but not really stretching.

But the most enlightening of all the books may have been, "Who Stole My Church?" by Gordon MacDonald. As an early adopter of technology and ideas it seems beyond me that people do not like change- and more to the point, people within the church wall really don't like to see change. Even if they work in a business where change is rapid and fluid they want their church "institution" (for lack of a better word) to remain static.

Honestly, on my bad days I believe it is vitriolic and selfish. This book painted a far different picture though and helped me to gain perspective on not only WHAT this group of late-adapters was thinking but WHY. Understanding people's "whys" makes it far easier to have empathy for them even if you still find yourself in wild disagreement with them.

Probably some of the reason I can become so easily frustrated with late-adapters is because it feels as if the new ideas get the treatment of, "Yeh, yeh, we've heard this before." and the excitement of new and passionate is gone... let alone any asking of WHY the earlier adapters want to do these things.

The primary lesson in all these things is to slow down, to ask why others see value in things that they do and then not force your values on others.

... but maybe that's just me.

1 comment:

cchopp said...

I have been reading Henri J.M. Nouwen lately. "Life of the Beloved" and "In the Name of Jesus." He was a priest and taught at Notre Dame, Yale, and Harvard, then he lived the last 10 years of his life at L' Arche a community for people with developmental disabilities. I definitely recommend his books.